On Amnesty, Trump Holds the Hammer
Here’s how the Dream Act/DACA amnesty struggle shapes up as of today. Each side wants something, and has vowed to remain steadfast on demands. But as is always the case with immigration legislation, there are three sides, not two. There are traditional, conservative anti-amnesty Republicans, passionate Republican immigration advocates, and liberal Democrats, united behind amnesty and in opposition to all things President Trump.
Twenty years ago, a congressional faction called the Blue Dog Coalition had 27 conservative Democratic members that, if it were still in existence, President Trump might be able to count on. But the Blue Dogs slowly faded as a force, and, on immigration, Democrats solidly favor amnesty.
The Democrats want amnesty for the so-called Dreamers, and also for the DACAs, two distinctly separate groups that the media often conflates. A Dreamer amnesty would grant about 3.6 million aliens lifetime employment authorization, Social Security numbers, and eventual citizenship. About 700,000 DACAs would receive the same benefits.
Moreover, every year, one million legal immigrants enter the U.S. and become immediately work authorized. The complete immigrant worker tally is into the millions, and also includes illegal immigrants, temporary guest workers and blue collar employment-based visa holders like H-1Bs.
For the tens of millions under-employed, unemployed and the four million newly graduated young Americans hoping to get a decent job, the prospect of adding through amnesty more than five million new potential workers into a slack labor market makes their challenges harder to overcome. More jobs competition is the last thing struggling Americans need.
Worse, the resultant chain migration from either or both amnesties would bring millions of the new immigrants’ relatives to the U.S., all work authorized. On average, each new legally arrived immigrant petitions 3.4 family members to come to America.
Conservative Republicans want a pro-America immigration package that is best represented in a new bill that Virginia U.S. Rep. Dave Brat recently introduced. Called the three-in-one bill because it draws from three previously introduced bills, Brat’s legislation would, first, mandate American job-protecting E-Verify. Second, it would end the lottery visa whose fatal flaws were exposed when it became known after the October New York terrorist attack which left eight dead that Uzbekistan national Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov had entered on that visa. Third, it would end chain migration.
When polled on whether they would like more immigration, and an expanded labor market that has depressed wages for decades, or immigration reductions that help U.S. workers, Americans even in traditionally blue states overwhelmingly chose less immigration. Honest polling taken on the importance likely voters put on passing a DACA amnesty shows dramatically declining support.
The rub is that big business, the Capitol Hill lobbies and Wall Street love amnesty. Collectively, they wield more influence than citizens. But President Trump holds the veto hammer. The question is, as it always is with President Trump, what will he do next?
On Laura Ingraham’s new Fox News show, the Ingraham Angle, President Trump said repeatedly that any amnesty bill that reaches his desk “must have” an end to chain migration. The way things are shaping up in Congress, however, the bill President Trump gets might have amnesty, but without the Republicans’ conditions.
President Trump may veto an amnesty bill or he may waffle, sign and, as he did with his pledge to end DACA on Day One, disappoint millions of his supporters.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.